Its a simple observation. One that anyone whos ever picked up a basketball can relate too. Yet, to Skylar Diggins, it couldn't be understated.
It feels good to see the ball go through the net, she acknowledged.
Diggins, who admittedly hasnt shot the ball up to her expectations during stretches of her rookie season, has had more reason to feel good over the past few games.
In the past three games, Diggins has shot 44.4 percent from the floor (up from her season average of 32.4 percent) while averaging 12.3 points per game (up from her average of 8.1).
My shots werent really falling so Ive been in the gym now more than ever to really work on my shot, Diggins said. Coming early in practice every day trying to get extra shots up. Going back and looking at where Im getting shots and watching a little bit of film and figuring out what I was doing wrong. Most of the time I was taking pretty good shots, I missed some in and out and what have you, but its all about repetition and getting up extra shots and getting ready to knock them down in the game and shooting with confidence.
Its not just the quantity of shots shes making, its also where shes making them. In Diggins past four games, shes made seven of her 16 attempts from 3-point range, good for 43.8 percent (up from her season averaged of 26.7 percent).
I think its important for me to knock it down when Im open, Diggins said of her 3-point attempts. Obviously its a different 3-point line and its different for everyone when you play overseas, so part of that was just adjusting. Its a far shot. You earn all three of those points when you shoot it. So adjusting was a big part for me. I was a decent 3-point shooter in college, but now you move it back so you have to adjust.
The adjustments Skylar has had to make, however, have extended beyond just the dimensions of the court. Diggins, who gained fame as Notre Dames consummate point guard in college, has actually been assuming more of a combo guard role over the past several games.
While it may be new to some of her fans, this is not something that is entirely unfamiliar for Diggins.
I spent most of my life playing two-guard, Diggins said. From high school and AAU, I spent time playing a combo guard. I would bring the ball up sometimes, but most of the time I would be on the wing. In college, my freshman year, I played a little bit of the two also, so its not new for me. I pretty much have the same responsibilities but Im just not bringing it up the court.
While the change may or may not be playing an impact on her constantly improving offensive game, Skylar knows that this position switch also comes with significant responsibilities on the other end.
Im comfortable at the two spot and guarding the two also, Diggins said. I think thats important, being able to guard it. Some of the best players in this league play the two, so its just as important being able to guard the two as it is to play that position on offense.
If that wasnt enough, another new role that Diggins has taken on is coming off the bench, something shes done in Tulsas last nine games. In that stretch, however, she is still averaging 18.5 minutes per game, so her impact on the game is still substantial. It just happens at varying times.
Its just a little different, Diggins said. I get to see whats going on before I go in so thats a plus. Just staying ready because I never know if Im going to go in as the one or the two. So Im just going to stay ready and see how teams are guarding certain things and look at things, so when I come in, I know theyre going under their screens or what theyre doing or what signals equal what plays and what have you.
I know Im coming in and the team expects a lot of energy from me. Im just trying to come in and really be that spark and be aggressive on defense and offense.
One thing we do know is that that aggression on the offensive end -- along with the extra time spent in the gym -- is starting to pay dividends. And basketball is feeling good again.